Saturday, July 13, 2024

Football: Rocks leave it very late but snatch a dramatic draw.

FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

Chelmsford City 2 v 2 East Thurrock United

EAST THURROCK snatched a dramatic 98th equaliser to force a draw and put their names in the 1st round hat with a 2-2 draw against Chelmsford City at the Melbourne Stadium.

Chelmsford won the first corner of the game but the nicely flighted ball managed to evade every head in the box.

A minute later, another corner after good work by Jamie Slabber. This time, the Clarets saw a shot just go wide.

The Rocks were doing well to get out of their own half however needless free kicks conceded by the Clarets helped and when the keeper miscued a punch to concede a corner, then the Rocks could see that there would be chances.

But it was East Thurrock who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute after a Sam Higgins deflection took a wicked deflection to put the visitors in the lead.

Reiss Gilbey seemed to be everywhere, marshalling, picking up and creating.

In the 19th minute, Gilbey sent over a dangerous free kick from near the corner flag but although Sam Higgins got his head to it, he couldn’t control it.

At this point, it all seemed to be going to plan. The Clarets were struggling to maintain any momentum. They were also half-asleep and nearly conceded a second when neat play on the edge by Kye Ruel saw a good save from the keeper.

Each corner and throw seemed to take an age and this stoked the frustration on and off the pitch.

But the Rocks looked hungrier and were harrying the Clarets into mistakes. In the 37th minute another corner was desperately defended by Chelmsford and John Coventry’s boys were now thinking that they had to get the second goal.

Hakem Araba produced a marauding run into the box but his square ball failed to find an amber shirt.

But just before half time, the Clarets equalised as David Bridges scrambled home after a melee from close range. Ishmael Welsh nearly made it two, with a fine volley that had Richard Wray scrambling.

The second half started with an early chance for the Rocks. Sam Higgins sprung the defence but ran too far wide and shot weakly.

In the 55th minute, Jamie Slabber produced an exquisite piece of football as he chased down the Rocks defence, got the ball and then curled the ball past Richard Wray but the ball hit the bar.

The Clarets were starting to menace. Ishmael Welsh produced a number of probing runs down the left. At the other end, Higgins again beat the offside trap to produce another chance.

The Rocks looked confident in attack. Hakem Araba could have done more than fall over from the edge of the box in the 64th minute but the powerhouse was clearly troubling the Chelmsford defence.

Richard Wray bravely punched away a dangerous Welsh corner but received a nasty blow to the head for this troubles. Sub keeper Jamie Riley came on.

The good-natured Clarets fans gave Wray a round of applause.

The game looked well set up. A great Clarets cross flew across the Rocks goal, it only needed a touch but Jamie Slabber just couldn’t quite reach it.

But in the 87th minute, ex-Thurrock defender Kenny Clark put the Clarets in front when he latched onto a cross and headed into the net past the sub keeper.

But the Rocks weren’t finished and kept plugging away. In the 98th minute, a free kick somehow sneaked through the wall. It appeared that  former player, Max Cornhill got a touch that saw the Rocks equalise and put the Rocks faithful in raptures.

The replay takes place on Tuesday night at 7.45pm at Rookery Hill.

East Thurrock United Line Up: Wray Riley (GK)., Sammons, Stephen, Peddie, Harrison, Parmenter, Newby, Gilbey (C), Higgins, Araba, Ruel.

Subs not used: Collins, Hall, Keith, Gorbell,

Att: 902

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